Planning & Urban Development

Department Update

Although City Hall is currently closed to the public, the Planning and Urban Development Department continues to process and review applications.  All site plan, zoning map./text amendments, conditional use, and historic preservation applications can still be applied for through the CSS (Citizen Self Service Portal).  Please keep in mind that in addition to meeting schedules being disrupted at the moment, some of our processes are necessarily altered during this unusual time.  Thank you for your patience!

For any questions, comments or concerns, please contact us by e-mail at


Current Initiatives

Shelter Zoning Initiative

In response to a well-documented need for additional emergency housing, the Department of Planning & Urban Development has renewed its evaluation of citywide zoning regulations to explore new opportunities for small-scale emergency shelters. In support of this initiative, Planning staff have developed a web-based presentation of research on this topic, which includes an overview of the capacity of our existing shelter system, background on existing policy, past efforts to incrementally shift that policy, and zoning best practices as employed by other communities across the US.  To learn more about the shelter zoning initiative, visit here.

ReCode Portland

As of December 1, 2020, Portland's new land use codeadopted under Phase I of the city's ReCode initiative, is in effect.  Phase I has involved extensive reformatting, restructuring, and updating of the existing code, as well as a concerted look at streamlining and rationalizing particular areas of existing policy, including the city’s Accessory Dwelling Unit, off-street parking, and sign provisions. The result is a well-organized new code, using tables and graphics, that will increase predictability and clarity for users of the code. It will also pave the way for Phase II of the Recode process, which will involve better aligning the code with the vision of Portland's Plan for equitable, sustainable, and thriving neighborhoods. To learn more about the ReCode process, visit

Munjoy Hill Historic District

​about the department

The Planning and Urban Development Department promotes and plans for the future vitality, livability and prosperity of this remarkable city and all its people.  The Planning and Urban Development Department’s work involves overseeing and directing all planning and urban development activities including:

  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Managing and improving the City’s Zoning, Site Plan Subdivision and Historic Preservation Ordinances
  • Working with developers, neighborhoods and citizens on site plan review of larger projects
  • Design review of developments
  • Management of the City's Public Art program
  • Transportation Planning, in coordination with other City departments
Explore our programs and activities through the links to the left. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us.  We are here to help!

We encourage your feedback

We encourage Portland residents to submit written comments to the Planning Board and Planning staff by emailing: (If related to a specific project or property please do your best to reference the exact address so it can be included with the project’s file.) 

Please note: All comments submitted will become public record.  

For all other inquiries related to projects, or submitting an application please email or call 207-874-8719.

Pre-Application development review meetings​

Pre-Application Meetings are currently held every Wednesday from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m..  These meetings are being held virtually via Google Hangouts Meet.  Thirty minute meetings will be scheduled by appointment only and will be scheduled upon receipt of this request.  Following confirmation that the pre-application meeting has been scheduled, a link to the on-line session will be circulated to the participants.  At the meeting, City department representatives will be available to answer your questions and provide you with guidance on City actions, regulations, and requirements pertaining to your project.

These meetings are intended for informational purposes only.

To request a meeting fill out the Pre-Application Request Form and email it to along with any supporting documents or drawings.